Cyber Attacks Now the Biggest Threat

So, I have been posting about cyber attacks non-stop, looks like I was on the right track.  Intelligence leaders said for the first time on Tuesday that cyber attacks and cyber espionage have supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the United States.

Some of the biggest reasons for this are speed of evolving technology, how inexpensive it is to use/but this technology, and the mass of these attacks (and the attackers). “In some cases, the world is applying digital technologies faster than our ability to understand the security implications and mitigate potential risks,” James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The economic and social costs of these attacks are staggering. Last month, a private U.S. computer security company issued a study accusing a secretive Chinese military unit of being behind hacking attacks on a wide range of American industries.

China has denied such reports, and says it is a victim of cyber spying by the U.S. government.

The annual economic loss from cyber attacks is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars.

In a separate hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services committee, Army General Keith Alexander, head of the U.S. military’s Cyber Command, said cyber attacks on private companies and in particular on the U.S. banking sector were getting worse. He predicted that the intensity and number of attacks will grow significantly throughout the year.

Alexander said the military was beefing up its cyber warrior team, adding troops from across the military as well as civilians. He said there would be three teams: a Cyber National Mission force which will deploy teams to defend against national-level threats; a Cyber Combat Mission force in charge of operational control; and a Cyber Protection force which will defend the military’s information systems.

The goal is to add the new resources to the teams by the end of 2015, but one third of them are planned to be in place by this September.

For the US to keep up with this evolving technology, they will have to look outside their normal sources. They will have to look at those with experience, not just education. They will have to research, pay, and train these people (and heck, be willing to be trained by them).

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